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Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV$
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Hugh Gaston Hall

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151579.001.0001

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The Late Biblical and Heroic Poems

The Late Biblical and Heroic Poems

(p.310) 15 The Late Biblical and Heroic Poems
Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV

Hugh Gaston Hall

Oxford University Press

Between 1669 and 1671 Jean Desmarets published two biblical poems — Marie-Madeleine, ou le Triomphe de la Grace and Esther — and a short historical poëme héroïque, Regulus, ou le vray genereux. Two of these poems have been studied in the context of the French epic in books by Richard Sayce and David Maskell. They reflect Desmarets's last literary preoccupations. Although his defence of the Christian marvellous and of heroic poetry in late polemical works relates largely to Clovis, it seems also from these new poems and from the grand literary design of his last years. The plan to retell the great Old Testament stories in French verse may have been suggested by Louis XIV, to whom the first edition of Esther is dedicated.

Keywords:   Jean Desmarets, biblical poems, Marie-Madeleine, Esther, poëme héroïque, Regulus, Clovis, Old Testament, Louis XIV

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